United Natural Foods Inc. is selling 13 of its 43 Shoppers Food & Pharmacy stores to three separate grocery operators.
In connection with the sale transactions, Shoppers intends to cease operations at these locations, including the sale of any remaining inventory and closure of the stores prior to reopening under other banners.
UNFI will also close four additional Shoppers stores, which are expected to cease operations by the end of January 2020. UNFI made the decision to not renew the lease at three of these locations and the fourth is being cancelled pursuant to agreement with the landlord.
“Today’s announcement reflects progress on our commitment to reduce UNFI’s retail footprint and marks another step toward transforming UNFI into North America’s premier food wholesaler,” says Steven L. Spinner, UNFI’s chairman and CEO. “We believe that exiting the retail business will further accelerate our business transformation and allow us to more appropriately allocate resources toward long-term growth initiatives.”
As part of the transactions, two of the buyers will enter into long-term agreements for UNFI to serve as the primary supplier of their acquired Shoppers locations under different banners. Founded in 1929, Shoppers serves the Baltimore, Washington, D.C., and northern Virginia communities.